One thousand nāma-s of Viṣṇu are compiled from 107 verses of Sahasranāma that form the main part or stotrabhāg. Though the verse form of this Sahasranāma has 108 verses, the last verse ‘vanamāli gadī śārṅgī वनमालि गदी शार्ङ्गी is not included in one thousand nāma-s. This 108th verse is also not found in Mahābārata text and seems to be a later addition. While reciting Sahasranāma in the form of a verse, according to some traditions, this last verse is repeated three times.
Certain nāma-s are repeated. Seventy five nāma-s are repeated two times; ten nāma-s are repeated three times; and two nāma-s are repeated four times. However, the repetitive nāma-s are used in different contexts and there is no overlapping of meaning. For example, let us take nāma Śrīmān श्रीमान्. This nāma occurs in four places, nāma-s 22, 178, 220, 613. In all the four places the same name conveys different meanings. Nāma 22 refers to His form with His consort Śri Laṣmī in His chest. Nāma 178 refers to His glories. Nāma 220 means to say that He is the diffuser of the Eternal Light. Nāma 613 says that He rewards those, who pursue the path of dharma. Thus, it can be observed that though nāma-s are repeated to suit the contextual requirements, there is no overlapping of their meanings.
Further analysis of this Sahasranāma reveals that 145 nāma-s commence with Sanskrit vowels and rest of the nāma-s (855) begin with Sanskrit consonants. Each verse has two lines and nāma-s are made out of these verses. Number of nāma-s made out from each verse differs, such as 7, 8, 9, etc. Let us take the first verse as an example, to understand how a verse is converted into nāma-s.
विश्वम् विश्णु-र्वषट्कारो भूत-भव्य-भवत्प्रभुः।
भूतकृद्भूतभृद्भावो भूतात्मा भूतभावनः॥
viśvam viśṇu-rvaṣaṭkāro bhūta-bhavya-bhavatprabhuḥ |
bhūtakṛdbhūtabhṛdbhāvo bhūtātmā bhūtabhāvanaḥ ||
First nine nāma-s are from this verse. The nine nāma-s are made like this: viśvam + viśṇu + vaṣaṭkāro + bhūta-bhavya-bhavatprabhuḥ + bhūtakṛd + bhūtabhṛd + bhāvo + bhūtātmā + bhūtabhāvanaḥ. While performing an archana these nine nāma-s are recited by adding Om as prefix and namaḥ as suffix: Om viṣvasmai namaḥ, Om viṣṇave namaḥ, Om vaṣaṭkārāya namaḥ, Om bhūtabhavyabhavatprbhave namaḥ, Om bhutadkṛte namaḥ, Om bhūtabhṛte namaḥ, Om bhāvāya namaḥ, Om bhūtātmane namaḥ and Om bhūtabhāvanāya namaḥ.
In this edition, the name that appears in the verse is used. For example, first nāma is given as viśvam and not viṣvasmai.